I love him, I hate her, I love her, I hate him

Is it possible to swing from loving to hating the same person with equal passion?

Raksha Bharadia | Posted on 06 Dec 2015
I love him, I hate her, I love her, I hate him

Love and hate are indeed impossible to disentangle. Milan Kundera said, "It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith, history. Human life -- and herein lies its secret -- takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch."

Do you remember the time you thought everything was perfect in your life? The person you woke up next to, the morning sun from the balcony, the pancakes that you made to see the smile on your child’s face, the assignment that you cracked in record time leading to the much coveted ‘well done’ from your boss, even the chatty session with the domestic help as you offered her some leftover tea from your pan or that soft glow on your face after the new homemade scrub or the dress that looked a little more flattering because it was one of those lean tummy days? You were proud of the little and big things that you have been a part of and helped be, home, spouse, children, work and you had wished for life to go on this way forever. 

An hour passes, the spouse wrinkles his nose over something seemingly trivial, kids decide they want to give the pancake a pass (since it is fattening), the blaring sound of the neighbour’s gruh pravesh makes it impossible to enjoy the quiet winter sun and the phone beeps with the boss bringing to your attention an important point you had missed. Just then the fermented idlis of your breakfast decide to expand inside and the help receives an emergency call, leaves for the village with the dishes undone.

Not all of these need to happen at once, or one after the other. Even a few of these in intervals can make us feel lost, faithless and a failure. Everything that seemed perfect does not seem good enough anymore, you question your ability and even if you think you are doing your best, you despair in its (in)efficacy. You not only question your happiness, you wonder if you were truly happy just an hour ago! 

And in nothing is this polarity more pronounced and magnified as it is in our deep and closest relationships. We swing from loving them with all our heart, for the meaning and purpose they bring to our lives, to hating them for the misery they cause us by exploiting that very love; we thank them one moment for accepting the weak and the worst in us, in the next we detest them for hurting us where they know we are most vulnerable. We feel one in the security they provide, bask in its certainty and we sometimes wish that we were not chained as one because it inhibits our growth and freedom as it will inevitably do (at times). We share with them our deepest likes and dislikes and we cannot forgive them for the transgressions or indifference on those very likes and dislikes - even if it is as trivial as not buying a nose strip to manage their snoring, for there is never anything small enough to annoy or take offence at.  

Very much like Kundera said, what separates us from loving or hating our closest ones (over years) is not miles but inches! And if we are like the most of us, we actually live on that edge, rather on this or that zone. Very much like our partner’s do vis-a-vis us! 

As Molly peacock said, ‘There must be room for hate in love’…


Raksha Bharadia

Raksha Bharadia is a writer and editor. She has authored three books published by Rupa & Co. She has put together 13 titles in the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series for Westland. She has also worked as a scriptwriter with Star Plus. She has been a columnist for Femina, Ahmedabad Mirror, and DNA, Ahmedabad. Raksha has taught creative writing for a Master’s Program at CEPT, Ahmedabad. Bonobology.com is Raksha’s first significant foray in the digital space.

Comments : 8

Siddhartha Mishra: A nice piece. We all want our lives to be perfect. We wish to have amiable friends, obedient children, loving parents, a friendly society, a luxurious, centrally heated house and a lot of money. We do not want to subject their mind to worries and sufferings . We fear. We want everything to be all right . The people who are prepared to suffer, survive through emotional accidents, sensual accidents, political accidents and the catastrophes of nature. They have enabled humankind to survive for millions of years. Everybody has expectations, whether they are married or single, a businessman or a renunciate , a family man with a steady job or a homeless vagabond. People are expecting something from life. With these expectations they are evolving in a particular direction. If the expectation is fulfilled, the direction does not meet with a challenge. When people obtain what they want, whether it is money, love, friendship, power, peace or cooperation, they enjoy it, but it doesn't help them to develop another realm of awareness. Struggle is never without conflict, but conflict can be without struggle. From time to time, the ideas and evaluations of life undergo changes for the person who is undecided about what has to be done. The mind is made to confront two ideas, which gives momentum to the development of awareness and the mind. When the mind becomes one pointed almost one-pointed or completely controlled, it doesn't matter whether the circumstances in life are pleasant or unpleasant.

Maya Khandelwal: Beautiful write up! ?? I'm intrigued. Yes love and life and other hundreds of things trivial can make us go elated, and on the top of the world but the very next moment a thing of apparently no significance can make us go in drooping spirits. Ironically sad and funny as well. Howsoever may we profess ourselves of being self sufficient and essentially the happy beings, one petty think can mar that mental composure of ours.

Team Bonobology: In any intimate partnership, you will have cycles of good times and harder times. Some of those cycles may even get really bad. However, you will learn, grow, get better connected, become wiser, and you will learn new behaviours, make changes, and practice forgiveness. These are not easy tasks.

Shruti Mathur: If we love someone with great intensity, we can for sure hate the person with the same passion

Team Bonobology: Much of this awakening is about accepting your partner – as is. Not as you expected or desire, but what is actually happening? Observe, as objectively as possible, what they do and say, or don’t do and say, also noticing your own internal responses, but not reacting outwardly. Get out your imaginary movie camera and focus on who your spouse is.


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